Social Media Optimisation: How to think small for big results

It seems Bill Bernbach’s advertising campaign of the 1950’s ‘Think Small’ can teach us a thing or two about our marketing practices today. Scaling down your social campaign was a hot topic from a Sunday Business Post Social Media Optimisation (SMO) seminar this month,which featured presentations from industry leaders such as David Walker (Subrosa), Stephen O’Leary (Olytico) and David Connor (eightytwenty).

David Walker brought this point home by admitting he would be happy with just 10 fans on his brand Facebook page… if they were turning over €10million. That may be blowing things out of proportion just a little, but we get his drift. It’s all about delivering your campaign to the right customer.

So what about a brand that is not in the market for diamond encrusted Lamborghinis? Walker believes that an average target audience on Facebook should not rise above 500.

Yes, targeting has been around since the dawn of modern marketing. However, we were reminded by the SMO speakers that to stay on top of the sliding landscape of social, we need to make the most out of the online tools at our fingertips. This includes learning the small but significant details about our online audience, such as our Twitter followers and Facebook fans.

We need to do this on a continual basis, to ensure that we are consistently speaking to the right customers, and that we are speaking to them in the right way. After all, as David Connor from eightytwenty advises:

‘Social is about people – not product.’

Although we can’t invite them over for tea and cake, there are other ways we can get to know our online consumers. Here are 3 useful nuggets from the SMO conference which may help you to scale your social campaign down to size:

1. Break free from the Placebo effect

According to David Walker from Subrosa, seeing is not believing when it comes to analysing your online audience. Just because it seems like your ads are converting your audience, doesn’t mean that they are.

If you are showing your ads to the right demographic on Facebook, the probability is that some of your customers would have purchased anyway with or without seeing your ad, and you are none the wiser. This is the Placebo effect, the same in principle as we come across in medicine.

David posed the million dollar question: how can you really determine whether your Facebook adverts are causing conversions?

You Placebo test. This involves creating ‘control and experiment’ groups among your target demographic.  Showing a dummy ad to the control group and displaying your real ad to the experiment group, will expose which customers were truly converted by your ad content, and which ones were going to buy your product anyway.

David recommends that if you are targeting prospective users (people who have never purchased your product before) you can test-cookie every second user of your target audience.

So now you can take control of your social campaigns and see how the cookie crumbles (sorry)!

2. Make the most of Twitter Analytics

Stephen O’Leary from Olytico highlighted that regularly exporting data from Twitter and Facebook analytics can sharpen your social content. Another nifty method is to cross reference your Twitter analytics with your Google Analytics to get down to the nitty-gritty detail.

Twitter analytics reveals insights about your followers and audience to help inform your campaign; this is data you won’t get anywhere else.  Getting to know your followers means you can determine whether or not you are encouraging the right type of followers through your content. This is where Twitter insights will come in very handy.

Drilling into Twitter insights will help you to understand why your social media habits are working or not based on consumer insights. This will help you discover what content is winning and how to get your timing just right. Knowing the best time of day and day of week to reach your consumers is just as important as other aspects of your campaign.

It all depends on their habits, Stephen explains. For example, what are business people most likely to do when they come out of meetings? Check their phones. Therefore tweeting every half hour will give you better chances of catching this demographic as they are looking at their feed. It’s all in the detail.

3. Hit the Boards.ie to get further insight

Knowing how your consumers perceive your brand is also important when it comes to shaping your campaign. To do this, marketers can research the keywords and topics trending around their brand on their social platforms.

But they can also take things a step further, Stephen reveals, by analysing data on other platforms.

He emphasises the forgotten value of Irish forums such as Boards.ie and Rollercoaster.ie, which he describes as ‘the forgotten cousins of social media’. These platforms can also offer content focused on lifestyle and behaviour. More importantly, many customers posting on these forums are at the consideration stage of the buying process. It is on these spaces you can discover your customer thoughts, problems and insights and use these to anticipate their needs and serve them the appropriate content. What problems can you solve for your consumer?

An example Stephen offers is a bank discovering the motivations behind their customer loan applications. If a bank such as EBS discovered that a popular reason for loan applications was to fund tattoos, they could use this unique insight to connect to their customers. Unique insights give a solid basis of relevant content for blog posts, articles and social media posts that will promote high engagement.

Predicting the future

David Connor from eightytwenty also emphasised the idea that the social campaigns of the future will be based on predicting consumer trends rather than reacting to them.

The future of social is based on getting to know your consumer better than ever before, so you can make informed decisions based on small but potentially insightful details. The name of the game is personalisation. This concept should also be at the core of all your other online marketing practises. Luckily there are many ways to personalize your content according to each of your user’s actions, a little trick known as smart content marketing. 

We love content. And we know how to optimise it. So if you want to make the most of your social campaign, we’d be happy to help! Why not get in touch?

About Alison Lawlor

Ali is a Content Marketing Manager at 256. She is an English literature and advertising graduate with a love for all things wordy.